Friday, March 23, 2007

Progress at last

There's been a hiatus in the knitting (and the typing, so therefore the blogging for that matter) because I sliced the tip of one of my fingers instead of the broccoli last week and it was days before I could type or knit again. But now I am back at it. The socks are on temporary hiatus still though since I've started another project which I'm not gonna talk about yet for fear of jinxing my ability to knit fast enough to finish it in time.

Since my last post, I've been wrestling with old computers (backing up data and wiping hard drives and such) here at home. And before slicing my finger, working madly on my RSC socks & Gift 1. Gift 1 is more than half done now, thank goodness. It took me forever to decide on what exactly I wanted to do for that gift and even now I catch myself worried that she won't like it. In more rational moments I feel more confident that she will. I'd cross my fingers but I still have some work to do on it...

I managed to get my Rockin' Sock Club socks to the "part way along the foot" stage for both socks. It amused hubby no end to see me contorting around to take a picture of my feet wearing partial socks against a background that wouldn't be horribly embarrassing because of a the mess visible in the distance. The rest of the family just thought I'd lost it.One sock is sort of pooling and the other is striping. I believe that is due to a slight difference in gauge between the two socks. I don't get why really since all knitting has been being done with the same set of DPNs. The others are the same size but have only been used to hold the sock that was ahead while I caught the other one up to it. Possibly the second sock - the striping one - is striping because I wasn't as tense only I'm not sure it is the larger sock now that I think about it. I'm not positive about the gauge difference either because I've been too lazy to pin mark and measure properly.

They feel like they fit and I do have one bigger foot so I'm happy so far. The orange safety pin is telling me that is the instep (there's a green one on the soles - orange for sun-side, green for grass-side) because I'm just knitting the knits and purling the purls and I just know I'll forget which way is up once I get to the heel if I don't do something to keep track early on.

I had a terrible time with the toes of these socks. Which is funny only because the socks I finished that generated the beginning of this blog were also toe up with the short row toe thing (though not garter stitch) and I had no trouble whatsoever with them. Only, if I took notes on how I did them, I don't know where they are now. I soooo need to keep a knitting journal. I bought one so now I just need to remember to USE IT! You'd think the trauma of redoing the first sock's toe 4 times (I knit that toe five times, and the yarn still looks only a little bit fuzzy from all that ripping out - that's pretty good stuff, that STR) would have permanently seared into my little brain what I needed to do next time. No such luck. I started the second sock no more than 10 days after finishing that first toe at last and, yup, frogged and reknit three times.

Now I'm starting that new project, which I hope to have far enough along to feel comfortable blogging about it in a week or so. But that's it for knitting content - not much considering how long since I last posted, so I think I'll admit I have been buying yarn for future socks. My latest escapades at Sheri's shop netted Yarn Pirate and Cider Moon. And made me an official groupie. Possibly in record time. I must develop some self-control soon over this sock yarn fever stuff.
And oooh, squeal, etc. I am such a lucky new blogger I can't believe it. I was over at Maia's for her way back machine contest (man I wish I was that good a knitter even now let alone during my wayback period) and I won a prize! Which I totally feel undeserving of, having only recently found her blog. (No, not enough to not take it. Turn down handspun? Not gonna happen.) I'll post pics and tell all in a later post.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sex, socks, pretty much the same word*

Well, I've spent the last week working mostly on socks. The first half of the week was spent trying to get gauge on my Rockin' Sock Club February sock kit socks. I was unsuccessful so I started the toe with the easiest to use needles that gave me close to gauge and figured I'd hope for the best. Only then the toe looked a bit big but I figured I'd do a few rows of foot and then try it on. Only then when I finished the toe I tried to take out the provisional cast on and couldn't. Only after I struggled with it for ages did I realize that I had followed the instructions to "pick up and knit" from the crochet chain incorrectly. I had picked up and knit one then picked up and knit another when I believe I was supposed to pick up the stitches and then knit back across all of them.

Yet another feeling dumb moment brought to me curtesy of my knitting. I've been having a lot of them lately. The rosebud shawl was pulled out twice so is now on a back burner lest I actually burn it in a fit of pique. Another project had to be abandoned with very little time to come up with another option for the occasion it was supposed to be a gift for.

On the plus side, I relearned to think before I leap (I should have known about the pick up and knit since I've done it before) and discovered two modifications to my knitting technique vis-a-vis these socks anyway that I think will tighten up my gauge enough. One is figuring out that knitting from the other end of the skein of yarn seems to tighten the stitches a bit. And another is that threading the yarn around two fingers to tension it seems to also possibly tighten up my gauge a bit. Hopefully the two together will get me enough of that final 1/2 stitch per inch I need for my socks to fit comfortably without the knitting becoming too uncomfortable.

Since last posting I did finish one little project. The wristlets. They're pretty boring being a simple tube of 2x2 rib, so no pictures this time.

*Special Agent Seeley Booth on Bones in the episode "The Man in the Mansion" orig. air date 14 February 2007

Monday, March 5, 2007

rampant consumerism

So many bloggers seem to be doing "knit from your stash"... And then there's me. I have a stash. I'd even like to knit from it. I just can't get to most of it yet. NB: Learn from my mistake, when your husband/partner tells you everything from your studio/craft room will "only have to be in storage a little while" while he does a remodelling job - don't you believe him/her. So, I have been buying. I think maybe we yarnaholics/fiberholics need to have a certain critical mass of yarns and/or fibers to feel comfortable. I think I do anyway. The end result is that while others were apparently being so restrained at Stitches West, I went wild. To whit:

I bought sock yarns to make socks for DH. He liked the idea when I broached it pre-shopping day so I bought a few kinds, figuring he'd like one and I'd get to have the rest. He, of course, decided he liked them all so I've got multiple pairs of socks for a size 11 1/2 shoe in my future. Good thing I bought something specifically for myself as well. Here's the yarn I got for me and two of the ones I got for DH:The purple is mine. All mine. Chasing Rainbows fingering weight wool in Iris. DH gets the Socks That Rock in Smoky Blue and Tofutsies in some number that means nothing to me but presumeably does to them. It's blue. It's got 3 or so shades of blue that'll dot or something I think when knit up.

In the accessible part of the stash (unearthed when the studio had been packed up for 6 months with no sign of being able to unpack for at least another 6) I have an Alice Starmore pattern (with yarn) for a child's sweater that I've been meaning to knit for DD for years. But I haven't yet because two color work stymied me a bit when I swatched. Also I couldn't get gauge. Not even close. At this point, if I don't hurry up I won't have enough yarn for my daughter's size even though (having a fair idea of my attention span) I bought enough for the largest size at the time I bought the yarn. So, anyway, this year at SW I bought a two color stranded knitting kit to practice with. A normal person would do mittens or a hat or something. I bought a kit to do Cheryl Oberle's Celtic Lattice vest from Folk Vests (the cover one) because I've wanted one ever since the book came out. No ladylike little bites around here. No sir.

My daughter was with me on shopping day so naturally she got to add to her stash too. The fact that she still can't knit yet is apparently immaterial to either of us. Here are some of her choices:The magpie gene came out in the Great Adirondack Holo Hoops yarn. The middle one is Koigu KPPM and the turquoise is Reynold's Saucy cotton. She also got a skein of Artyarns Cashmere 2 (she's got very expensive taste - also she's smart, she got Mommy to pay for it all) but I can't get a good picture of the colors yet. And in true fiberholic fashion the minute we got home with them I had to get out the swift and ball winder so she could wind her cashmere into a cake (see crap photo below).
The photo below is posted only to prove that I, too, have magpie genes, and I know how to use them: On the left is my Great Adirondack yarn purchase - Bali in Eggplant Eddie - c'mon who could resist that name? The sparklies are slightly more restrained than my daughter's but not much. And proving that I have a wide range of taste, or lack thereof, on the right is my fingering weight buffalo yarn.
Also at Stitches West I took a class and got to hang out with my best bud. All in all a fun weekend. I think next year I'll try for more classes and less shopping.